The AA has called on councils to offer warnings rather than fines to first time parking offenders to prove they’re not using tickets as a way of generating revenue.
The organisation also highlighted the case of bus lane cameras in Preston that caught 8,000 drivers in their first week of operation.
Yesterday, the Traffic Penalty Tribunal found that the bus lane was poorly signposted and upheld 300 appeals. The AA called on all 30,000 tickets that have been issued since the cameras were turned on to be refunded.
A spokesman said: “Councils should follow guidance from the Department for Transport that recommends writing to motorists who contravene bus lane regulations in the first two weeks after cameras are installed instead of ticketing them.
“It should also give warnings to first time parking offenders who may have made a genuine mistake rather than issuing a parking charge notice.
“This would prove that the cameras and wardens are there as a deterrent for bad driving and not as a cash cow.”
The recent comments come following an investigation that found that nearly half of parking fine appeals are successful. A Freedom of Information request by The Sun to more than 100 councils across the UK found that four million tickets were issued in 2015 and 2016.
It found that 875,776 of these fines were appealed, with 385,341 successful. This represents a success rate of 44 per cent.
Motoring organisation The AA says the investigation ‘underlines the massive con of parking enforcement’, and has called on those involved to prove fines aren’t just in place to raise funds.
It said: “Councils have long seen parking enforcement as a cash cow, instead of a way to deter selfish drivers from parking where they shouldn’t.
“The AA has long felt that drivers should be compensated for the expense and lost time in making a successful appeal. That would make councils think twice before throwing tickets around like confetti.”